Brian Lavery - Maritime History Expert

Brian Lavery has a uniquely deep and varied experience of maritime history and archaeology, and his skills are available for consultancy.

national maritime museum

Brian B Lavery was born in 1945 in the shipbuilding town of Dumbarton, Scotland, and studied at Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities.

He began to write books in the 1970s, and worked for 16 years in museums, starting at Chatham Historic Dockyard and then in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, where he is currently a Curator Emeritus.

He is best known for his work on sailing ships of the seventeenth to nineteenth century but he has also published several books on nineteenth and twentieth century ships and navies.

In 2007 he was presented with the Desmond Wettern Maritime Media Award for contributing ‘to our understanding of the social structure of Britain’s maritime power and all maritime aspects of British national life’. In the following year he won the Anderson Medal of the Society for Nautical Research.

Brian Lavery profile

Brian is a skilled yachtsman with experience in traditional ships and square rig, which gives a great deal of insight into navigation and seamanship.








TV, Radio & Film​

Replica Ships

Museums & Exhibitions



Authoring Support

Classic Books

Brian is the author of more than thirty books on many different aspects of British and world maritime history. Classics include;

The Ship of the Line

(2 vols, 1983-4)

A history of the British sailing battlefleet.
An impressive, and in some respects, unique contribution to the story of British sea power in the age of sail.
Professor Glyndwr Williams

Nelson's Navy


A complete guide to the most successful fleet of its day.
Constantly in print for nearly 30 years. A masterpiece on life in the Senior Service under England’s favourite seafaring son.
The Times

Nelson and the Nile


The story of the campaign which led to Nelson’s first battle in command, and his closest confrontation with Napoleon Bonaparte.
If one had to choose just one book on Nelson and the Napoleonic Wars, this would be it.
Peter Stanford, founding editor Sea History